Representatives of grassroots women organizations and human rights defenders of Manipur on Thursday expressed the need for the indigenous women’s grassroots groups to be equipped with legal and human rights knowledge which ‘is the key to stir the society towards the right direction’.
The sentiments of more than a hundred leaders from various grassroots women organizations and rights bodies were shared during a day-long legal awareness workshop for women jointly organized by Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup (AMKIL), Extrajudicial Execution Victim Families Association, Manipur (EEVFAM) and Human Rights Alert (HRA) at Lamyanba Sanglen, Palace Compound in Imphal on Thursday.
“The participants decided to organize such legal awareness programmes in every district of Manipur to reach out to the masses,” says Executive Director Babloo Loitongbam of HRA in a press release.
Human rights defenders who faced reprisals from the state, including Jiten Yumnam, Okram Nutankumar, Haobam Tombi, and Majabung Gangmei shared their personal experiences and strategies they adopted while dealing with state’s reprisals, he added.
Monika Khangembam of Women and Youth for Peace and Development (WYPD) presented the broad definition of rights defender and asserted that the Meira Paibis are frontline women human rights defenders, the release said.
She also stressed the roles to be played by them. The issue of threats and reprisals and ways of responding to them was discussed threadbare.
Advocate Basantakumar Wareppa made a presentation on leveraging the criminal justice system for protection of women human rights defenders, it further added.
Renu Takhellambam, President, EEVFAM shared her recent interventions during the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Edina Yaikhom, Secretary, EEVFAM made an update on the ongoing EEVFAM case in the Supreme Court. Sagolsem Menjor, member of EEVFAM, testified the reprisal he faced from the State, according to the release.